Vilis Arveds HāznersPress Coverage

ABC News Show Investigates Nazis Living in America

Daytona Beach Morning Journal, January 12, 1980
TV Section
Original archived at, retrieved 10-January-2016

NEW YORK — There are more than 200 alleged Nazi war criminals now living in America who are responsible for the deaths of as many as two million people. How did these Nazis and Nazi collaborators manage to get into this country, and how have they managed to stay? The U.S. is currently a haven for hundreds of such alleged war criminals; only Argentina and West Germany are thought to have more.

ABC News presents the most comprehensive examination of Nazis in America ever televised — exploring how they got here, why they have been able to stay, and why effective legal action against them is starting only now — in the documentary special, "ABC News Closeup — Escape from Justice: Nazi War Criminals in America," airing Sunday at 7 p.m., on Channel 9.

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OF THE MORE THAN 200 such cases under investigation in the United States, only 16 are now in litigation. One case Involves an American citizen and an archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox church — Valerian Trifa, left photo, who is accused of initiating a program [sic.] in Romania.

Vilas [sic.] Hazners, a native Latvian now living in upstate New York, allegedly forced dozens of Jews into a synagogue which was then set on fire. Students, right photo, from the State University of New York recently protested the lack of action in these cases, by picketing Hazners' home. Hazners' case has been tried in Federal Court in Albany, N.Y., and is awaiting a verdict.

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THIS SEARCHING INVESTIGATION of Nazi war criminals in America presents evidence indicating that some of them have been recruited, protected and even employed by the United States government.

“ABC News Closeup — Escape from Justice: Nazi War Criminals in America” will be narrated by ABC News Supreme Court Correspondent Tim O'Brien, and will feature investigative reports by “Closeup” Correspondent Michael Connor.


There is little to add as compared to earlier news accounts, other than to iterate that there was no "lack of action" in Hāzners' case, except for those for whom nothing but a swift verdict and execution of the guilty would suffice. Imagine more than 50 people showing up on your doorstep wearing “DEATH TO YOUR LAST NAME T-shirts.

We also see conspiratorial aspects emerging: "only 16" of 200 cases being pursued and Nazi war criminal fugitives "even employed" by the U.S. government. Unsurprisingly, despite their exoneration, Hāzners and other Latvians continue to feature prominently in Nazis-among-us exposés, the most recent of these being Eric Lichtblau's 2014 “The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men.”

Updated: October, 2016

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